The Top 10 Things You Need to Know About Social Media and SEO
Social media doesn’t improve your SEO on its own. What it does do, however, is drive actions that can affect your ranking. When someone clicks on a link from social media, the link itself doesn’t count as a backlink. In other words, it has no direct impact on your SEO.
What does affect your SEO, though, is how the person behaves when they click through to your site. So, to say that social media has no impact on SEO is not strictly correct either.
In this post, I’ll go through the top 10 things that you need to know about social media and the indirect impact it has on SEO.
Let’s dive right in.
1. It Drives More Traffic to Your Site
We’ll never know all the factors that Google’s algorithm looks for when ranking sites. We do know that the amount of traffic you get is one of the really important factors. Those posts on social media might not count as backlinks, but they’re an important part of getting your site statistics up.
2. Your Profile Page Will Rank in Search Engines
Social media profile pages tend to rank well naturally. They’re also usually on the first page. So, if you create a social media page and optimize it, it will rank well in those searches. This, in turn, gives your brand more visibility and leads to more traffic.
Take a look at the search results for “Netflix.” The official Netflix site takes the number one spot. If you scroll down a little, you’ll see that the company’s Twitter and YouTube profile pages take the second and third spots respectively.
3. It Puts Your Content in Front of New Consumers
Another indirect benefit is that social media puts your content in front of a much wider range of people. These are not just people who are in the market for something that you sell. You’re not relying on people actively looking for your product.
With social media, you get a chance to present your product to people who never knew how much they needed it in the first place.
4. The Value of Social Sharing
Don’t discount the value of social sharing – those likes and shares put your content out to a far wider audience and help spread the word around. To give you an idea of the scope I’m talking about here, I’m going to use the example of the Facebook/It’s Your Digital Life scandal.
The app itself was only downloaded 300 000 times. It was designed to reap data from the user’s account and all accounts associated with it. The number of accounts exposed was a staggering 50 million.
Think of it this way:
Say that I have ten friends on social media, and I like one of your posts (I’m going to keep this simple and assume that everyone on Facebook has ten friends). That’s ten extra people who are seeing the post. Big whoop, right?
Each of my friends likes the post, and so it starts appearing in their follower’s feeds. With just one simple step, your shared post has reached a total of 110 views. If each of those people once again shares the post, you’ve got a total of 110 views from the first round, and 1000 views from the second round.
As you can see, social sharing significantly improves your content’s overall reach. If you’re creating great content, that is.
5. Social Media Sites Can Also Act as Search Engines
This is becoming an important functionality. Why steer clear of Facebook and click through to Google when you can run a search on Facebook itself? See for yourself, the screenshot below shows what happens when you type “Netflix” into the Facebook search bar.
As you’ll see from the screenshot below, though, Netflix has not optimized its Facebook profile page. If you type in the phrase “streaming services,” these are the results that come up. Even so, not far from the top you’ll notice that someone has done a review of these services. So, Netflix is bound to land some of that traffic after all.
Approach your social media page in much the same way that you would normal SEO. Work out what key phrases people are looking for and make sure that you scatter them on your profile page.
It Improves Your Business’s Credibility to the Search Engines
You already know that search engines compare many different sites when determining whether your site is credible or not.
They check that the details match across all the sites on the Web. By ensuring that the information is consistent across social media platforms, you’re giving the search engines another link.
- Geo-Tagging Posts Can Help Them Reach More People
Some social media sites allow you to add geo-tags to your photos. If you can use this feature, you should. It allows your posts to be put out in front of an audience in your area. Those posts will also show up in local search engine results.
Video content is king these days. As a result, video content usually shows up near the top of the page. Take advantage of this and the power of YouTube to help you get your content out to a wider audience.
As you see from the screenshot below, when we type in Netflix, videos come up just after the questions, right near the top of the page.
Granted, the videos that show up in this search are not positive ones, but it gives you an idea.
Do optimize your YouTube description with your target key phrases to rank well.
- Ranking Signals Change
At the moment, social media links do not count as credible backlinks. But ranking signals change all the time. Considering the increasing importance of social media, who’s to say that these links won’t count later?
Google Isn’t the Only Game in Town
We’re all pretty focused on Google. And that’s fine – it’s the biggest search engine out there. But that’s not to say that you shouldn’t try to rank on other social media sites. Bing is also a popular search engine. The advantage of it not being Google is that it can be easier to improve your page rank.
As we can see, social media and SEO are more interlinked than most people think. So, it’s no longer a case of whether social media has an impact on SEO or not. We now know that social media indirectly affects SEO.
It makes sense to work on the two together.
Tech Blogger and Contributor at Review42.com
Andriana is a techie by birth but not always by profession. She has worked mostly as a ghostwriter in a variety of fields including tech, digital marketing, and even crypto. She is extremely opinionated, in a good way, and loves to hash out ideals and generally open up her way of thinking.